Remains of WWII soldier killed during Pearl Harbor attack to be returned to North Carolina town

SALISBURY, N.C. (WTVD) -- It has been nearly 80 years since the "day that will live in infamy" and, finally, the remains of a young soldier will be returned to his family in a North Carolina town, defense officials said.

Seventeen-year-old Navy Seaman 2nd Class Russell O. Ufford, of Kansas City, Missouri, was killed during the Pearl Harbor attack while the USS Oklahoma moored at Ford Island. The battleship capsized when several torpedos hit it. Four hundred and twenty-nine crew members were killed during the attack, including Ufford.

Seventy-nine years later Ufford's body was accounted for on Feb. 11, 2021.

His remains had been buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Ufford's remains will be returned to his only living relative, a nephew, who will meet the casket on the tarmac of RDU for it to be transported to the Salisbury National Cemetery -- near Charlotte. He will be laid to rest on July 16, 2021.

In 2015, the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) reexamined his remains. His body was identified through the use of dental and anthropological analysis. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Along with others missing during WWII, Ufford's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl. A rosette will be placed next to his name to signify he has been accounted for.
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